Notes on Part Two
From the sagas we learn that about 1000 A.D. the Norsemen found their way to North America by way of Greenland. For three hundred and fifty years they visited it continuously. Their routes and the locality of the places they reached are uncertain, and the attempt to identify them has caused much discussion. The general opinion was that the territory visited by the Vikings was somewhere on the Atlantic coast between Labrador and New England.
Within the last few years, the discovery of some Viking weapons in Northern Ontario has led archaeologists to consider the probability that some of them reached Hudson Bay through Hudson Strait and thence journeyed inland to the south and west.
In May, 1930, a prospector, working near Beardmore, about seven miles from Lake Nipigon, Ontario, exploded a charge of dynamite which exposed a mass of rock about three feet and a half below the surface of the ground. Lying on the rock were some pieces of iron, which the prospector later showed to several people, some of whom thought that they might be Viking relics. Their existence was made known to Dr. C. T. Currelly, of the Royal Ontario Museum of Archaeology, who at once had them sent to the Museum. They were examined and identified by Dr. Currelly as genuine Viking weapons, dating from about 1000 A.D. They consisted of a sword, an axe head, and the grip of a shield. The story of their finding was carefully investigated, and the site was examined by Professor T. F. Mcllwraith, of the Museum staff, who also found some scraps of similar metal which probably were fragments of the boss of the shield. There seems little reason to doubt that these weapons were placed where they were found by Norsemen at the time of their voyages to North America.
It is probable that the Vikings discovered not only parts of the Atlantic coast, but also penetrated into the interior of the continent by way of Hudson Bay. Both routes are shown on the map.
See articles by Dr. C. T. Currelly, Professor W. S. Wallace, and 0. C. Elliott in The Canadian Historical Review, March, 1939, and Sept., 1941, and "Here was Vinland," by James W. Curran, Sault Ste. Marie Daily Star, 1939.
Pages 63 to 71
Though the Eskimo differ from the Indians in so many ways, it is probable that both are descended from the Mongolian stock of Asia. Some of the ruins of their prehistoric dwellings and camping places show traces of their contact with the Norsemen. The region they inhabited was the coast country from Labrador to Alaska, bordering the northern seas which abounded in the aquatic mammals, seals, walrus, and polar bears, on which they depended for food, heat, and clothing.
The rigorous conditions of their surroundings developed in the Eskimo a remarkable ingenuity in making use of the scanty materials available to them. The igloo or snow-hut is an example of their skill. Built of blocks of snow cut out and skilfully put together in a dome shape, it afforded an efficient and quickly constructed shelter.
In the absence of sufficient wood for fuel they used oil made from blubber, which they burned in a lamp carved out of soapstone, as were also their cooking vessels. The blubber lamp or stove was an original Eskimo invention, which gave a continuous and steady supply of heat for cooking and warmth, and a sufficient amount of light during the long winter.
Their clothing was equally adapted to the climate; it was generally made of caribou fur, in two thicknesses in winter, with the fur of the inner garment against the skin. Shoes and boots were made of seal skin, which was also used for waterproof outer shirts worn in misty and rainy weather. The long tail of their coat was useful when they had to sit for long hours on ice or snow.
For travelling they devised the kayak and the dogsled. The kayak was constructed by stretching the skin of the seal over a boat frame, including the top, leaving only a hole for the occupant who propelled the craft with a double-bladed paddle. The kayak was made water-tight by closely fastening the wide skirts of the paddler's oiled skin jacket around the manhole. It was as light and as portable as the Indian birch-bark canoe, and if the vessel overturned it could be righted by a strong sweep of the paddle. Their heavily-laden sleds were hauled by teams of half-savage dogs, trained to obey the whip and word of command. In the development and use of the dog they far exceeded the Indians.
The women were expert in the use of the needle, and the Eskimo were the only American aborigines to invent the thimble.
They were skillful workers in bone, antler, ivory, flint and quartz, manufacturing all sorts of useful articles from these materials. Frequently these various objects were decorated with incised, engraved or carved designs.
Cabot's name is frequently mispronounced by omitting to sound the final letter "t" of the word. His Italian name was Giovanni Cabotto, which in English becomes John Cabot. There is no contemporary portrait of him.
The Indians conducted Cartier to the summit of the near-by mountain, from whence could be seen the course of the St. Lawrence, and the Ottawa flowing into it from the north. Cartier's own account tells us that the Indian chief, seizing the silver chain of the whistle hanging around his neck, which he used for giving signals on ship-board, and pointing to the handle of a dagger made of copper gilt like gold, worn by one of the sailors, gave him to understand that materials like these were to be found in the country from which the Ottawa flowed. We have here the earliest mention of the mineral wealth of northern Canada, whose riches have been realized only in our own day, nearly four hundred years after the incident illustrated in the picture.
Pages 76, 77
During the winter of 1535-1536, which Cartier's company spent in the neighbourhood of Stadacona (now Quebec), they suffered severely from scurvy, a disease caused by eating too much salt meat, and the lack of fresh fruit and vegetables. Indians, explorers and settlers were afflicted by this disease in the early days of Canada. Cartier's own account says: "In December . . . the sickness broke out among us . . . and spread to such an extent that in the middle of February of . . . our company there were not ten in good health, so that no one could aid the other . . . Our Captain (Cartier) . . . gave orders for all to pray, and had an image and figure of the Virgin Mary carried across the ice and snow and placed against a tree about a bow-shot from the fort, and issued an order that on the following Sunday mass should be said at that spot, to which all who could walk, both sick and well, should make their way in a procession, singing the psalms of David with the Litany, praying the Virgin to ... ask her dear son to have pity upon us."
By the middle of April twenty-five of the seamen had died, and there was little hope of saving more than forty others, while all the rest were ill excepting three or four.
While walking outside the fort one day, Cartier met an Indian named Dom Agaya, whom he had seen ten or twelve days earlier, extremely ill with the same disease from which his men were suffering. He was now well and in good health, and Cartier asked what had cured him. Dom Agaya replied that he had been healed by the juice of the leaves of a tree, and sent two Indian women to gather some of it. They brought back several branches, and the Indian told Cartier to boil them in water, to drink of it, and to place the dregs on the parts of the body which were swollen and affected. According to Dom Agaya this tree was called Annedda, and cured every disease.
The tree was either the hemlock or spruce. Cartier at once had some of it prepared. "As soon as they had drunk it they felt better and after drinking it two or three times all who were willing to use it recovered health and strength."
No portrait of Cartier, drawn from life, has been found. The profile portrait, seen in many books, and on prints and postage stamps, is an imaginative representation, the original of which is a painting made by Francois Riss, a French artist, in 1839, now in the town hall of St. Malo. It is possible that his work is based on an earlier portrait; but if this ever existed, it has been lost.
Although the familiar profile is not a genuine portrait, it expresses something of Cartier's character, and has fixed itself in popular appreciation as a typical representation of a Breton sailor.
The statue at St. Malo is, however, far superior as an imaginative conception, and vividly suggests the character and physical aspect of the rugged mariner.
The map is intended to show those parts of the country that were actually seen by Cartier and Champlain. Other portions were probably visited by unknown sailors from France who left neither maps nor records of their voyages in quest of fish and furs. It is known, however, that the coasts of the Gulf of St. Lawrence were frequented for years before and after Cartier's time by Basque and Breton fishing vessels, as well as by many English ships and still others from Portugal and Spain.
This method of map-making might be followed with advantage in schoolroom work. An outline modern map should be drawn on the blackboard: on this the routes and areas visited by the explorers should be marked by a heavier outline, or by coloured chalk, and the unexplored portions then rubbed out. Similar exercises might be done by the pupils on mimeograph copies of outline maps supplied to them. The explorations of La Salle, La Verendrye and others thus represented would give to the pupil a more vivid realization of the lure and mystery of discovery, and an idea of the extent of the geographical knowledge of the period.
The Habitation of Port Royal was the first permanent white settlement in America, north of the Spaniards. We have some scanty descriptions of it in the writings of Champlain and Lescarbot, and a few references in the Jesuit Relations, in addition to an engraving in Champlain's works, presumably from a drawing made by him. It was built by De Monts, from plans by Champlain, in 1605, and lasted until 1613, when it was looted and burned by Argall and an English force from Virginia. When the French re-occupied the territory they built the new Port Royal about seven miles farther up the Basin on the south side, at what is now Annapolis Royal.
In 1938 the Dominion Government through the Department of Mines and Resources, undertook its reconstruction on the original site. No pains were spared to make it as accurate as possible; information was sought from every available source in Canada , the United States and France, and the plans were prepared and the buildings erected under the careful supervision of Mr. K. D. Harris, the Departmental architect, with whom I worked as historical consultant. A happy feature of the undertaking was the collaboration of the "Associates of Port Royal," a group of Americans organized by Mrs. H. T. Richardson, of Boston, who had been interested in the project for several years.
The site was excavated with scientific accuracy by Mr. C. C. Pinckney, of Boston, and the work had the invaluable assistance of the knowledge and experience of Dr. C. T. Currelly, Director of The Royal Ontario Museum of Archaeology. The foundation stones of the buildings were discovered, and it was seen that their positions agree with the descriptions and engravings in Champlain's works, and that they were grouped around a rectangular court of about sixty-four by fifty-two feet. A well was found in the middle of the courtyard, with many of its stones still in position. It was excavated to a depth of about eighteen feet , where a copious flow of water was reached. Every detail of construction was carefully worked out in accordance with the building methods and the style of the period. The massive chimneys were built of local stone, the fireplaces lined with bricks made from the near-by clay pits from which Poutrincourt made bricks over three hundred years ago. All the beams, planks, and shingles were hewn or sawn by hand, the nails and other iron work all hand wrought.
The drawing is copied from the architect's perspective view of the reconstructed buildings as they appear today, and should be compared with the engraving in Champlain's works.
Consult for full details of the reconstruction and data upon early building construction, articles by C. W. Jefferys in The Canadian Historical Review, December, 1939, and by Kenneth D. Harris in The Journal, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, July, 1940.
The earliest buildings erected in North America by white men were of wooden frame construction, similar to those of the districts of Europe from which they came. The first settlements in Acadia, Virginia, Canada and New England were made by colonization companies or associations which employed expert masons, carpenters, etc., who brought to this continent the traditional methods of their craft in their homelands. None of these first houses exists today.
The pioneer log house or cabin was not in general use until well into the eighteenth century, since it was not known in England or France. It is possible that the Swedish colonists on the Delaware first introduced it, as such houses were common in Scandinavian countries. Before the end of the seventeenth century, however, defensive blockades and heavy log blockhouses were erected in outlying frontier settlements by both French and English colonists, and, as we have seen, the Huron-Iroquois villages were surrounded by palisades.
In early records of the French regime we find references to various forms of construction, not only for houses, but for the first churches. "En Colombage" indicated a frame of squared timbers, filled in between the uprights with short thick logs, or with stones and mortar, or with clay. This was similar to the "half-timber" buildings of southern England and northern France. "Piece sur piece" signified a building made of squared timbers or round logs laid horizontally and notched together at the corners; the familiar log-house construction. Both these types were covered on the outside by clap-boards, or by a coat of plaster, and sheathed inside with sawn planks. "En pile" meant a building made by planting logs upright in a trench close together, as in a palisade, to form the walls.
Stone houses, however, were built in the early days of French settlement, and this type of building is prevalent throughout rural Quebec today.
For further details on building see the pages on stone and wooden houses, early churches, and roofs and chimneys. Valuable information and many illustrations of early Canadian building may be found in Old Houses, Old Manors, and in Old Churches, published by the Historic Monuments Commission of the Province of Quebec, and in several brochures by Professor Ramsay Traquair, published by McGill University, Montreal. Consult also The Log Cabin Myth, by Harold R. Shurtleff, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., and Domestic Architecture of the American Colonies, by Fiske Kimball.
This pageant was presented on the waters of the Annapolis Basin at Port Royal. It was written by Marc Lescarbot, a member of the company, the author of an entertaining history of the colonizing experiment. This play, entitled The Theatre of Neptune, was performed on the 14th of November, 1606, to welcome the return of Poutrincourt, the governor, from a voyage of exploration. Two English translations have been made within recent years: one by Mrs. Harriette Taber Richardson, published by Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Mass., and one by Professor R. K. Hicks, of Trinity College, Toronto, published in the Queen's Quarterly, Kingston.
The costumes in the picture show considerable variety. It was a time when fashions were changing. Some of the figures still retain the older style of wide, short, padded trunk-hose and skin tights on their legs. Others wear knee breeches tied with knots of ribbon at the knees, a more up-to-date fashion. Many imitated the King of France of that period, Henri IV, who wore a wide square-cut beard, called a spade-beard, and brushed his bushy hair up straight, while some let their hair grow in long curls over their shoulders, and wore moustaches and a pointed chin whisker, which became the style throughout the first half of the seventeenth century. No authentic portrait of any of the company is known to exist.
The first wheat in Canada was grown in 1606 near the present fort of Annapolis Royal, N.S., on the land overlooking the junction of Allen's or L'Esquille River with the Annapolis River. The first grist mill in Canada was built at the head of tide water some distance up Allen's River, where faint indications of the dam may be seen in the alignement of the boulders still remaining in the stream and along the banks.
The outlines of the Scots' Fort can be traced today on the higher ground a short distance north-east of the French Habitation of Port Royal now reconstructed at Lower Granville.
Gold was the treasure which explorers first sought, as the Spaniards had done in Mexico and Peru. Disappointed in this, they found profit in the abundant fisheries, and in trading with the Indians for furs. Beaver was the most valuable, and for over two hundred years was in great demand in Europe for the making of fine hats. The Indians in return were eager to acquire blankets and cloth and trinkets for personal decoration; but especially articles of steel and iron, such as hatchets, knives, needles and kettles. They had not learned to smelt metals, of which they used only native copper, which was too soft for heavy work.
The picture, which is redrawn from the engraving in Champlain's works, is intended to show the position of the Habitation and to give some idea of the materials and the methods used in its construction. Its peculiar perspective makes it difficult to determine its exact shape; but it was probably a four-sided enclosure and its buildings were of wood. It was erected on the waterfront near the foot of the present Mountain Street.
In 1620 Champlain constructed a fort on the summit of the cliff, where the buildings forming the Chateau St. Louis were erected from time to time in the neighbourhood of the Chateau Frontenac of today. Views of these later structures are shown on pages farther on in the book.
No authentic portrait of Champlain exists. Nor have we any description of his physical appearance. The portrait which is so often seen is a copy of the likeness made by Moncornet, a seventeenth century engraver, of an entirely different personage of his time. The copy, with a few changes, was made two hundred years later by a French artist, Ducornet, and fraudulently titled as a portrait of Champlain. It is a most inadequate representation, and gives no suggestion of Champlain's active, enterprising and resolute character.
Paul Chevre's statue expresses much of the spirit of the explorer and the founder of New France, and is an excellent piece of sculpture, well suited to its commanding situation on the terrace at Quebec.
The picture shows Champlain dressed in the costume of a musketeer of the early seventeenth century. Sometimes light steel armour, such as breastplates and thigh-pieces, was worn; but probably Champlain, travelling in summer and by canoes in the wilderness, wore only a sleeveless outer coat of thick buffcoloured leather, an under coat or shirt with sleeves, loose cloth knee-breeches, buckskin leggings and moccasins, and a broad brimmed hat. His heavy and clumsy weapon is an arquebus, which was loaded at the muzzle and fired by means of a slow-burning fuse, a long cord of rope or tow, the lighted end of which was brought into contact with the powder at the breech by pulling a spring trigger. A bag of bullets and two powder flasks hang from his belt. These early firearms were slow and cumbrous in their action; they took several minutes to prime, load and fire, and the kick was so heavy that sometimes it dislocated the shoulder or collar-bone of the shooter. Compared with them, the Indian's bow and arrows were quick-firing weapons. At first the Indians were surprised and panic-stricken by the noise, the smoke and flame, and the penetrating power of the white man's weapon; but they soon realized the superior efficiency of their own arms, and from the shelter of the forest, in many a surprise attack, they were able to pour a continuous and silent flight of arrows upon the French settlers before these could return the fire. It was not until the musket was improved by substituting a flint and steel lock, acting on a spring trigger, for the slow-burning fuse or "match," about 1670, that the whites were able to gain any decided advantage over the Indians.
It may not be known generally that Indians wore armour; but Champlain and other early explorers frequently refer to their shields of wood, and speak of their chest and leg protectors, made of reeds, or of sticks woven together with cotton fibre, roots or smews. In the west shields of dried buffalo hide were used.
Over Champlain's shoulder is slung a bandoleer, to which are attached small tin or wooden cases, something like modern cartridges, each containing a charge of gunpowder. To load the weapon, one of these cases was detached, the top torn off, and the powder poured into the muzzle of the arquebus; a bullet was taken from the bag which hangs below the bandoleer and dropped into the arquebus, and pounded firmly down with a ramrod. From a flask which hung near the bullet bag a small quantity of finer powder was poured into the touch-hole at the breech of the arquebus, to be fired by contact with the lighted fuse.
Etienne Brule probably was the first white man to see Lake Ontario. Little is known about him, for he left no record of his own; but from scanty and scattered references, he appears to have been the first white voyageur hy the Ottawa River route to Lake Huron, and the first to reach Lake Superior. He learned to speak several Indian languages, and became more at home among the Indians than with the whites. Brule's information and experience were of great service to Champlain, who made use of him, but discredited his character and ignored his discoveries, and most of the other writers of his time gave him an equally bad reputation.
It was in September, 1615, that Champlain set out with the Hurons on a raid into the Iroquois country south of Lake Ontario. Brule at the same time was sent to the Andastes, living on the upper Susquehanna River, to summon them to strike the Iroquois, their common enemy, from the south, while the Hurons and Champlain attacked them from the north.
Leaving Champlain's party at the narrows of Lake Couchiching, Brule, with twelve Indians, struck south across Lake Simcoe to the Holland River. From there a portage of twenty-eight miles led overland to the mouth of the Humber, a route which had existed for ages as the natural highway from the upper lakes to Lake Ontario. What course he followed thence to the country of the Andastes is uncertain; he reached them, however, and they made the attack upon the Iroquois, but it was too late, for the Hurons had retired from their seige of the Iroquois village before they arrived.
Brule spent most of the remainder of his life among the Indians and was murdered by the Hurons about 1632, somewhere in the present township of Tay, Simcoe County, Ontario.
The picture shows him halting for a moment in sight of Lake Ontario, at the end of the Toronto Carrying-Place, where the trail dips down to the Humber River bank.
See Toronto Under the French Regime, by Dr. Percy J. Robinson, The Ryerson Press, Toronto.
White whales, a species of aquatic mammal, still frequent the Gulf and the lower St. Lawrence River. In the earliest days of Canadian history we hear that they were hunted by the Basque and Breton fishermen for the oil which was procured by boiling down the fat which lay several inches thick beneath their hides, which were also valuable for making leather. In Une Paroisse Canadienne au X VII Siecle, by the Abbe H. R. Casgrain, a good description is given of the method of catching them and rendering the oil at Riviere-Ouelle, one of the principal places where this industry was carried on. In addition to the method of trapping them in enclosures of wooden stakes in shallow bays where the receding tide left them stranded on the mud fiats, white whales were also hunted by harpooning or shooting them from small ships. One such vessel, a sort of fishing lugger, is mentioned in 1733 as being armed with small cannon for this purpose.
From the earliest times, the cod fisheries of the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the waters around Newfoundland attracted large numbers of vessels from France, England, Spain and Portugal. Two kinds of fishing were employed. What was called "dry" fishing was done generally from boats near the shore, for the smaller fish, which were salted, then washed out, and spread out to dry on the stony beach or on wooden racks or staging. The areas favourable for this were those where there was less fog and damp weather. "Wet" or "green" fishing was carried on with ships, mainly on the "banks" distant from the coast, where the fish caught were larger. They were salted and taken direct to their market in their wet and briny condition without drying. The illustration showing the method of "dry" fishing is taken from Keith's Virginia, 1783.
Detailed accounts of the fishing industry are given in the Description of the Coasts of North America, written in the seventeenth century, by Nicolas Denys, who was engaged for many years in fishing enterprises in Acadia. A translation, with notes, by Professor W. F. Ganong, was published by the Champlain Society, Toronto. See also The Cod Fisheries, by Professor H. A. Innis, The Ryerson Press, Toronto.
For the history of the Jesuit mission to the Hurons and the locality of the various villages the general reader is referred to Old Huronia, by Father A. E. Jones, S.J., published by the Ontario Bureau of Archives, Toronto; to Indian Village Sites in Simcoe County, by A. F. Hunter; and to The Martyrs of Huronia, by Father E.J. Devine, S.J.
Fort Sainte Marie No. 1 has recently become the property of the Jesuits. The ruins are now being cleared and the whole area excavated under the direction of the Royal Ontario Museum of Archaeology. The foundations of several buildings have been unearthed and numerous relics of the French occupancy have been discovered. See Article by K. E. Kidd in The Canadian Historical Review, Dec., 1941. The work of excavation was continued during the summer of 1942. The foundation stones of buildings, fireplaces, etc., were unearthed and show that most of the houses were grouped toward the western portion of the area. Among the many articles discovered were the leg bones of domestic fowl. They are much heavier than those of the fowl of today, and are armed with long, stout spurs. The discovery of these fragments enables us to estimate the degree of change that has been produced by the breeding of domestic fowl during the last three hundred years. The bird of the seventeenth century resembled more closely the original wild fowl from which it was developed.
The cannon is a curious piece of artillery, unlike that of the period, and possibly is a discarded specimen of an earlier date. The fore part of the barrel consists of thick wide rings of iron welded together; the rear portion is of bronze, octagonal in shape, and with a projection from the butt, which suggests its use as a handle to direct the cannon when mounted on a swivel, as shown in the illustration on page 176.
About the middle of the seventeenth century the Roman Catholic clergy were clean shaven. Earlier portraits, as those of Olier and Richelieu (q.v.), show them wearing moustaches and chin whiskers. Missionary priests, however, were allowed to let their beards grow. But, they were ordered to be careful to clip the hair around their lips, so that in partaking of the sacred elements in the ceremony of the Mass, no fragments of the bread and wine should be lost. This feature is observable especially in the accompanying portraits of Jogues and Lalemant.
In order to understand French Canada, something of the history of France must be known. Old France was the social, political and religious background of New France. Canadians of British birth or ancestry from their childhood imbibe some knowledge of the history, the institutions and manner of life of their forefathers in their homelands; but in general they know little of the type of civilization which formed their French fellow Canadians. Both people were modified in character by their new world surroundings, but each retained and is still influenced by its ancestry.
The reigns of the French kings whose portraits are here included, cover most of the period of French rule. Since the French monarchy was largely personal, the character of the king influenced the colonial policy very strongly, even when exercised through a powerful minister like Richelieu or Colbert.
Henri IV reigned from 1589 to 1610, his son, Louis XIII from 1610 to 1643, his son Louis XIV from 1643 to 1715, and his great-grandson, Louis XV from 1715 to 1774, though during his earlier years the government was under a Regency, and his connection with Canada ceased with the Treaty of Paris which in 1763 ceded Canada to the British Crown.
Observe that Henri IV and Louis XIII are depicted as wearing their own hair, while Louis XIV and XV are shown in wigs. It was in the reign of Louis XIV that the wig came into general use by men throughout Europe, and continued to be worn in various forms in France until the Revolution, and elsewhere until the beginning of the nineteenth century. Portraits of Louis XIV as a young man show him with his own hair worn in long curls. The wig he is shown as wearing in the portrait here reproduced imitated this long-haired Cavalier style of hairdressing and was known as a "full-bottomed wig."
The flag of France varied from time to time and according to circumstances. At the time of Champlain merchant vessels carried a flag with a white cross on a blue ground. Such a flag is shown on Champlain's map of 1612. This flag, called the old ensign of France, was therefore that flown on the vessels of the trading companies of New France.
Neither flags nor uniforms were so standardized as they are today. Vessels and troops often carried the colours of their commanders. But the flag of the royal navy and of the army in the early seventeenth century appears to have been like that of the merchant marine, with the difference that the ground was sprinkled with golden fleurs-de-lis, and the royal arms was placed on the centre of the cross.
An edict of Louis XIV in 1661 ordered that the royal naval ensign should be white, with the arms of France in the centre. This is the first official order prescribing the use of white as a background. Later this became general throughout the nation, with the addition of the golden fleurs-de-lis.
See Le drapeau francais au Canada, by Regis Roy, in Le Bulletin des Richerches Historiques, November, 1941.
When Henri IV came to the throne of France in 1589 he already was King of Navarre, a small territory in the south-west of France, bordering on Spain. His title therefore was King of France and Navarre, and the royal arms consisted of the shields of both kingdoms. The title remained In use, but the arms of Navarre were discarded under Louis XIV. The circle surrounding the arms is composed of fleurs-de-lis alternating with monograms of the initial letters "H" and "M" of the names of Henry and his queen, Marie de Medici.
The Order of Saint Esprit was founded by Henry III. It was the highest order of nobility, and was limited to a membership of one hundred Chevaliers. The cross bore a dove descending with outstretched wings: the symbol of the Holy Spirit. The Order of Saint Louis was founded by Louis XIV in 1693, and was conferred only for military or naval service. Those who received it must have distinguished themselves by some noteworthy action, or have served at least twenty-eight years as an officer. There were three grades in the Order: the most numerous class were the Chevaliers, above them were a smaller number of Commanders, while a few were awarded the Grand Cross, the highest rank. The recipient, kneeling before the King, or his representative, bareheaded and with his hands clasped, swore to live and die in the Catholic religion, to serve the King faithfully, to reveal all conspiracies against him or the state which might come to his knowledge, and promised not to leave his service for that of any other prince without his permission. The cross was of white enamel bordered with gold, and set with pearls and golden fleurs-de-lis, and was suspended from a flame-coloured ribbon. On the death of the wearer the cross was returned to the King.
Armand Jean du Plessis, Cardinal Richelieu (1585-1642) was the greatest French statesman of the seventeenth century, and controlled the government under Louis XIII. He broke the power of the turbulent nobles, and united the country under the monarchy, and thus prepared the way for the personal and absolute rule of Louis XIV. On his death he was succeeded by Cardinal Mazarin, under whom Colbert received his training in governmental administration. Richelieu's connection with Canada consisted principally in his foundation of the Company of New France, known as The Hundred Associates, and in his support of missions.
Jean Baptiste Colbert (1619-1683) became chief minister of Louis XIV after the death of Mazarin in 1661. He reorganized the finances, stimulated trade and industry, built up the navy, and directed the colonial policy of France. His economical administration was frustrated by the King's extravagance, and he was supplanted in the royal favour by Louvois, who flattered the vanity of Louis and encouraged his schemes of European supremacy. Colbert's administration put new life into Canada. He instituted the Sovereign Council, supported Talon's policy of developing industry and commerce, and reinforced the colony by sending out the regiment of Carignan, and assisting emigration and settlement.
The British kings from George I to William IV were also rulers of Hanover, and consequently the arms of that country were carried on the British shield until the accession of Queen Victoria. According to its laws no woman could reign over Hanover, which therefore became a separate kingdom in 1837, under the rule of her uncle, the Duke of Cumberland.
Observe that until 1802 the arms of Great Britain bore also the fleur-de-lis, symbolizing the old claim of the English kings to the throne of France. To indicate in a black and white engraving the colours of flags and coats of arms, it is usual to make horizontal lines to represent blue, vertical lines for red, and small dots for gold or yellow.